Posted by & filed under eathlete, online gaming.

Phoenix Bruneau began playing video games when he was five.

“I really like video games and it’s been a big part of my life,” he says.

Now 14, he plays video games, such as League of Legends, about 20 hours a week. In the summertime, when school’s out, he’ll sometimes practise 35 hours a week.

Source: CBC News

Date: February 1st, 2019

Link (includes video): https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/esports-program-launches-at-montreal-high-school-for-aspiring-pro-gamers-1.4987114

Discussion

1) “eathlete”.  Should that even be a term?

2) Online gaming is set to be bigger than regular sports.  Why?

Posted by & filed under App Economy, Privacy.

Julian Ranger

Ever since the world wide web went public in 1993, we have traded our personal data in return for free services from the tech giants. Now a growing number of start-ups think it’s about time we took control of our own data and even started making money from it. But do we care enough to bother?

Source: BBC Business

Date: January 31st, 2019

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-47027072

Discussion

1) Why is that almost everyone doesn’t “care enough to bother” about their own, personal data?

2) Are free services ever really free?

Posted by & filed under Cybersecurity, Ethical Issues, Huawei.

Huawei

A lot of people are talking about Huawei – and not just because they make really well reviewed, top-end phones.

The Chinese company is in pretty hot water in various places, because certain people believe they are using their tech to spy on people – something the company totally denies.

There’s a court case against Huawei taking place in the US right now.

And other countries all over the world are losing faith in this tech giant due to security fears.

But although it can be quite hard to care about the ins and outs of a technology company on the other side of the planet – you might be worried about your handset or whether to buy a new Huawei.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: January 31st, 2019

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-47041341

Discussion

1) Why is the comment that “it can be quite hard to care about the ins and outs of a technology company on the other side of the planet” not correct for anyone doing business today?

2) How might you test whether or not a Huawei phone is spying on you, or not?

Posted by & filed under blockchain, fraud.

A B.C. honey producer may hold the key to helping Canada fight back against honey fraud.

In the last fiscal year, more than 23 per cent of imported honey products tested by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency contained additives, despite being labelled pure.

The agency found the honey had been diluted with rice and corn syrups.

Chilliwack beekeeper Peter Awram’s family has been in the business since the 1970s and he says the industry is becoming less lucrative.

So Awram is taking honey fraud into his own hands by creating a database to track honey in hopes it will help take the fake stuff off the shelves.

Source: CBC News

Date: January 24th, 2019

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/a-b-c-solution-to-taking-the-sting-out-of-honey-fraud-1.4990684

Discussion

1) How might a database help honey fraud?

2) Blockchain allows for a publicly available, impossible to change, ledger where you can trace from source to customer a product like honey. How would that work?

Posted by & filed under China, Cybersecurity.

huawei

The US-China tension over Huawei is leaving telecommunications companies around the world at a crossroad, but one spoke out last week. Telus, one of Canada’s largest phone companies showed support for its Chinese partner despite a global backlash against Huawei over cybersecurity threats.

Source: Tech Crunch

Date: January 24th, 2019

Link: https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/20/telus-backs-huawei/

Discussion

1) Do you know what the issue the U.S., Canadian, and other countries around the world are having with China’s Huawei?

2) How could the Canadian government ensure that technology from Huawei actually is “reliable”?

Posted by & filed under Censorship, China, Civil Liberties.

Microsoft confirmed Thursday that Bing was unavailable in China, raising concerns that it could be the latest in a growing list of global internet platforms to be shut out of China’s huge market.
Hours later, however, some users were once again able to access the service.
“We can confirm that Bing was inaccessible in China, but service is now restored,” a Microsoft(MSFT) spokesperson told CNN Business on Thursday.
Bing is the last major foreign search engine operating in China after Google (GOOGL) pulled out in 2010. The service interruption suggested that even tech companies that submit to Beijing’s strict internet censorship regime can still run into trouble in the country.
Source: CNN Technology
Date: January 24th, 2019
Discussion
1) Should Microsoft operate in a country that subjects its citizens to censorship of information like this?
2) Is it possible for Western, democratic governments to censor information on the internet?

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Everyone has to start somewhere, and air taxis are no exception.

Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company, said it completed the first flight of its autonomous air taxi Tuesday at a small airport outside Washington, DC. No one was on board.

The flight lasted less than a minute, according to Boeing, and it didn’t actually go anywhere. Instead, it hovered above the runway. Boeing declined to share how high above the ground it flew.

But Boeing is hailing the achievement as a milestone for its NeXt division, which develops autonomous airplanes.

 The flying car prototype is 30 feet long and 28 feet wide. It’s designed to fly up to 50 miles at a time.

Source: CNN Technology News

Date: January 24th, 2019

Link: https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/23/tech/boeing-flying-car/index.html

Discussion

1) In what ways are the issue with an autonomous air taxi different from an autonomous car?

2) What could go wrong?

Posted by & filed under Amazon.

Scout, the delivery robot

Amazon is experimenting with delivery robots, starting with a little truck called Scout which is taking to the pavements in Washington State.

Six of the autonomous electric trucks will deliver parcels “at walking pace” round Snohomish County.

The robots will only operate during the day and will be accompanied by an Amazon employee initially.

It is the latest in a series of trials of pavement robots, seen as being a good alternative to road deliveries.

“We developed Amazon Scout at our research and development lab in Seattle, ensuring the devices can safely and efficiently navigate around pets, pedestrians and anything else in their path,” said Amazon vice-president Sean Scott on the company’s blog.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: January 24, 2019

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-46987779

Discussion

1) What problems, if any, do you see with a robot delivery system like this?

2) It is currently snowing in Missoula, Montana.  How would this work in the snow?

Posted by & filed under Ethical Issues.

Real estate agent says clients used audio, video surveillance to eavesdrop on potential buyers.

Homebuyers should watch what they say during home viewings, according to an Ontario real estate agent who says two of her clients recently used cameras and microphones to eavesdrop on potential buyers.

Juliana Webster says the rules should be changed to force sellers to say if homes are under surveillance.

“When you go into a private home you don’t naturally expect [surveillance],” said Webster, who works in Hamilton.

Source: CBC News

Date: January 17th, 2019

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/surveillance-home-real-estate-1.4979049

Discussion

1) Is it true, or truly naive, to say “When you go into a private home you don’t naturally expect [surveillance]”?

2) Should there be a law to prevent surveillance in your own home during a home buying visit?

Posted by & filed under Consumer Technology.

After three hours wandering through endless aisles of gadgets at CES, the world’s largest consumer technology conference, the products start to blend together. Was this automated cat litter cleaner the same one we saw 20 minutes ago? How many internet-connected locks can the world possibly need?

But somewhere between hour four and five, something strange happens. There is a moment of clarity — not about the future of technology, but about who we are right now and what we think is wrong with our lives. We realize that CES is a collection of devices that cash in on our biggest issues, and that we have a ton of them.

Source: CNN Technology

Date: January 17th, 2019

Link: https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/11/tech/ces-2019-gadgets-anxiety/index.html

Discussion

1) Why is the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas so important (or not)?

2) Is it ethical of companies “to play on our fears”?